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Wells Fargo 

“Market Cap $261.38 B As of May 2014

At a Glance

  • Industry: Major Banks
  • Founded: 1852
  • Country: United States
  • CEO: John Stumpf
  • Website: www.wellsfargo.com
  • Employees: 264,900
  • Sales: $88.66 B
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Forbes Lists

#8 Global 2000

  • #75 in Sales
  • #15 in Profit
  • #19 in Assets
  • #7 in Market value

#56 World’s Most Valuable Brands

Profile

Wells Fargo & Co. is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company. Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through its stores, ATMs, the Internet, and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. The company operates through three operating segments: Community Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement. The Community Banking segment offers a complete line of diversified financial products and services to consumers and small businesses. It also offers investment management and other services to retail customers and securities brokerage through affiliates. These products and services include the Wells Fargo Advantage FundsSM, a family of mutual funds. Its Loan products include lines of credit, auto floor plan lines, equity lines and loans, equipment and transportation loans, education loans, origination and purchase of residential mortgage loans and servicing of mortgage loans and credit cards. The Wholesale Banking segment provides financial solutions to businesses across the United States. It also provides a complete line of commercial, corporate, capital markets, cash management and real estate banking products and services. These include traditional commercial loans and lines of credit, letters of credit, asset-based lending, equipment leasing, international trade facilities, trade financing, collection services, foreign exchange services, treasury management, investment management, institutional fixed-income sales, interest rate, commodity and equity risk management, online or electronic products such as the Commercial Electronic Office portal, insurance, corporate trust fiduciary and agency services, and investment banking services. The Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement segment provides a range of financial advisory services to clients using a planning approach to meet each client’s needs. It also provides affluent and high net worth clients with a complete range of wealth management solutions, including financial planning, private banking, credit, investment management and trust. The company was founded by Henry Wells and William G. Fargo on March 18, 1852 and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

“Wells Fargo History

The current Wells Fargo is a result of a 1998 merger between Minneapolis-based Norwest Corporation and the original Wells Fargo. Although Norwest was the nominal survivor, the new company kept the Wells Fargo name to capitalize on the long history of the nationally recognized Wells Fargo name and its trademark stagecoach (the company’s previous slogan, “The Next Stage,” is likely a nod to the company’s trademark). After the acquisition, the parent company kept its headquarters in San Francisco. The company’s current tagline, “Together we’ll go far” also references the stagecoach motif, its customers, and represents the company name itself in a transposed way (Wells Far-go = we’ll[s] go-Far).

In-store branches

There are many mini-branches located inside of other buildings, which are almost exclusively grocery stores, that usually contain ATMs, basic teller services, and, space permitting, an office for private meetings with customers.

Wachovia acquisition

On October 3, 2008, Wachovia agreed to be bought by Wells Fargo for about $14.8B in an all-stock transaction. This news came four days after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) made moves to have Citigroup buy Wachovia for $2.1B. Citigroup protested Wachovia’s agreement to sell itself to Wells Fargo and threatened legal action over the matter. However the deal with Wells Fargo overwhelmingly won shareholder approval since it valued Wachovia at about 7 times what Citigroup offered. To further ensure shareholder approval, Wachovia issued Wells Fargo with preferred stock holding 39.9% of the voting power in the company.

On October 4, 2008, a New York state judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the transaction from going forward while the situation was sorted out. Citigroup alleged that they had an exclusivity agreement with Wachovia that barred Wachovia from negotiating with other potential buyers. The injunction was overturned late in the evening on October 5, 2008, by New York state appeals court.Citigroup and Wells Fargo then entered into negotiations brokered by the FDIC to reach an amicable solution to the impasse. Those negotiations failed. Sources say that Citigroup was unwilling to take on more risk than the $42 billion that would have been the cap under the previous FDIC-backed deal (with the FDIC incurring all losses over $42 billion). Citigroup did not block the merger, but indicated they would seek damages of $60 billion for breach of an alleged exclusivity agreement with Wachovia.

Predecessors

Wells Fargo operates under Charter #1, the first national bank charter issued in the United States. This charter was issued to First National Bank of Philadelphia on June 20, 1863, by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Traditionally, acquiring banks assume the earliest issued charter number. Thus, the first charter passed from First National Bank of Philadelphia to Wells Fargo through its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia, which in turn had inherited it through one of its many acquisitions.

2008 financial crisis

On October 28, 2008, Wells Fargo was the recipient of $25B of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act Federal bail-out in the form of a preferred stock purchase. Tests by the Federal government revealed that Wells Fargo needs an additional 13.7 billion dollars in order to remain well capitalized if the economy were to deteriorate further under stress test scenarios. On May 11, 2009 Wells Fargo announced an additional stock offering which was completed on May 13, 2009 raising $8.6 billion in capital. The remaining $4.9 billion in capital is planned to be raised through earnings. On Dec. 23, 2009, Wells Fargo redeemed the $25 billion of series D preferred stock issued to the U.S. Treasuryunder the Troubled Asset Relief Program’s Capital Purchase Program. As part of the redemption of the preferred stock, Wells Fargo also paid accrued dividends of $131.9 million, bringing the total dividends paid to the U.S. Treasury and U.S. taxpayers to $1.441 billion since the preferred stock was issued in October 2008.

Environmental record

Wells Fargo ranked No.1 among banks and insurance companies – and No.13 overall – in Newsweek magazine’s inaugural “Green Rankings” of the country’s 500-largest companies.

So far, Wells Fargo has provided more than $6 billion in financing for environmentally beneficial business opportunities, including supporting 185 commercial-scale solar photovoltaic projects and 27 utility-scale wind projects nationwide.

As a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program, Wells Fargo aims to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions from its U.S. operations by 20% below 2008 levels by 2018.

Wells Fargo has launched what it believes to be the first blog among its industry peers to report on its environmental stewardship and to solicit feedback and ideas from its stakeholders.

“We want to be as open and clear as possible about our environmental efforts – both our accomplishments and challenges – and share our experiences, ideas and thoughts as we work to integrate environmental responsibility into everything we do,” said Mary Wenzel, director of Environmental Affairs. “We also want to hear and learn from our customers. By working together, we can do even more to protect and preserve natural resources for future generations.”

Key dates

  • 1852: Henry Wells and William G. Fargo (Mayor of Buffalo, NY from 1862 to 1863 and again from 1864 to 1865), the two founders ofAmerican Express, form Wells Fargo & Company to provide express and banking services to California.
  • 1860: Wells Fargo gains control of Butterfield Overland Mail Company, leading to operation of the western portion of the Pony Express.
  • 1866: “Grand consolidation” unites Wells Fargo, Holladay, and Overland Mail stage lines under the Wells Fargo name.
  • 1905: Wells Fargo separates its banking and express operations; Wells Fargo’s bank is merged with the Nevada National Bank to form the Wells Fargo Nevada National Bank.
  • 1918: As a wartime measure, the U.S. government nationalizes Wells Fargo’s express franchise into a federal agency known as the U.S. Railway Express Agency (REA). The government takes control of the express company. The bank begins rebuilding but with a focus on commercial markets. After the war, REA is privatized and continues service.
  • 1923: Wells Fargo Nevada merges with the Union Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank & Union Trust Company.
  • 1929: Northwest Bancorporation is formed as a banking association.
  • 1954: Wells Fargo & Union Trust shortens its name to Wells Fargo Bank.
  • 1960: Wells Fargo merges with American Trust Company to form the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company.
  • 1962: Wells Fargo American Trust again shortens its name to Wells Fargo Bank.
  • 1968: Wells Fargo converts to a federal banking charter, becoming Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • 1969: Wells Fargo & Company holding company is formed, with Wells Fargo Bank as its main subsidiary.
  • 1982: Northwest Bancorporation acquires consumer finance firm Dial Finance which is renamed Norwest Financial Service the following year.
  • 1983: Northwest Bancorporation is renamed Norwest Corporation.
  • 1983: Largest U.S. bank heist to date takes place at a Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 1986: Wells Fargo acquires Crocker National Corporation from Midland Bank.
  • 1987: Wells Fargo acquires the personal trust business of Bank of America.
  • 1988: Wells Fargo acquires Barclays Bank of California from Barclays plc.
  • 1995: Wells Fargo becomes the first major financial services firm to offer Internet banking.
  • 1996: Wells Fargo acquires First Interstate Bancorp.
  • 1998: Wells Fargo Bank merges with Norwest Corp. of Minneapolis.
  • 2000: Wells Fargo Bank acquires National Bank of Alaska.
  • 2000: Wells Fargo acquires First Security Corporation.
  • 2001: Wells Fargo acquires H.D. Vest Financial Services.
  • 2007: Wells Fargo acquires CIT Construction.
  • 2007: Wells Fargo acquires Placer Sierra Bank.
  • 2007: Wells Fargo acquires Greater Bay Bancorp.
  • 2008: Wells Fargo acquires United Bancorporation of Wyoming
  • 2008: Wells Fargo acquires Century Bank.
  • 2008: Wells Fargo acquires Wachovia Corporation.
  • 2009: Wells Fargo acquires North Coast Surety Insurance Services
  • 2012: Wells Fargo acquires Merlin Securities
  • 2012: Wells Fargo acquires stake in The Rock Creek Group LP”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “wellsfargo